Sleep is my greatest un-requited love. It is the state of consciousness I long for over any other, but, unfortunately sleep has never really liked me, let alone loved me as I have loved it. Often I am chasing it late into the night, and ever since I was very young night terrors have stalked me. Nightmares that come alive and convince your waking mind that they exist.
Last night was a little bit scary, but this time it didn’t get scary til I woke up.
I found myself woken up twice. On two separate occasions I was woken up by a hot, searing pain in my left nipple. It felt like a red hot metal skewer had poked straight through my nipple and hit my rib. It didn’t penetrate any deeper, it didn’t make it to my lung. The pain felt exactly what one would expect to feel if they had been stabbed with a hot poker. Straight through the areola with the burn lingering behind it in the breast tissue. Initially the lingering singe like sensation worried me, but I fell back asleep quite quickly.
Then it happened again.
Same sharp, intense burn that fades out into the tissue.
Around 10 years ago I found a lump in my breast, right behind my left nipple, it was around the size of a sunflower seed. At the time my nan was still alive, I think it was before her breast cancer returned and finally took her in 2008, but I knew it was in the family and I knew it was worth investigating. After a mammogram and an ultrasound they felt it was just a cyst within a milk duct and I was just told to keep a good eye on it. It’s still there. Hasn’t grown or moved, but hasn’t disappeared either. Maybe this is the same thing… but I don’t remember it ever hurting.
Obviously I did the whole self exam thing, can’t feel anything other than the existing cyst, but far out it hurts. When I hold my boob, cupped in my left hand and then palpate with my right hand the pain in behind the nipple intensifies and to be honest I can’t tell if there are any new lumps or bumps. All I know for sure is it bloody hurts.
On a positive note though, as I sit here playing with my boobs I recall when I felt a similar pain once before. . . Mastitis. When you are breastfeeding sometimes a milk duct can become blocked and an infection can set it. Burns like red hot pokers jabbing you in the tit. It’s usually followed by an uncomfortable ache in the breast but it disappears when the infection is treated. And considering the cyst I have is within the milk duct, possibly there’s just some kind of funky blockage as my once perky and full of life boobs start to give way to middle age.
None the less I have an appointment with the Doctor on Monday to go get it all checked out.
As for all of you, if you have boobs or you love someone with boobs (love as in you have permission to touch and fondle them) get your hands out and check them out. The number one way to beat breast cancer is to catch it early. I’m pretty sure I’m carrying on over nothing, but you just never know.